Eskom transmission agency begins trading

The National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA), founded as an independent subsidiary of Eskom Holdings, has begun trading. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

The National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA), founded as an independent subsidiary of Eskom Holdings, has begun trading. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Published Jul 6, 2024


Following months of speculation, Eskom, the country’s power utility, has announced that its National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA) has officially commenced trading.

This comes as part of a comprehensive restructuring and unbundling process which started in 2019 in a bid to unbundle the vertically integrated utility into three distinct companies of transmission, distribution, and generation.

The NTCSA was founded as an independent subsidiary of Eskom Holdings, marking the company’s establishment as a distinct and wholly owned subsidiary of Eskom.

In a joint media statement issued on Monday, Eskom, the NTCSA and the Department of Public Enterprises said the move is a significant step in the reform of South Africa’s electricity supply industry with Eskom Board Chairperson Mteto Nyati saying the new entity will focus on adding capacity to the country’s embattled power grid.

“We are pleased to announce that NTCSA begins trading today and will focus on increasing the capacity of the national transmission grid to allow the connection of much-needed new power generation capacity.

“As a wholly owned subsidiary, it will operate under the direction of an independent board while providing open access to the electricity network, as envisaged during the unbundling process. We look forward to contributing to a more efficient and transparent electricity industry,” said Nyati.

However, there have been some delays in the process as in April, Electricity Minister Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said the the company was on track to start trading in July, while previously, Eskom had announced that the company would be up and running by April this year.

On Tuesday, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) said in a statement that it had approved the licence to grant the new entity permission to trade.

Nersa said the NTCSA will operate under three licences issued to it which include the operation of transmission facilities by operating and managing the transmission grid; trading, in terms of which it will buy energy from Eskom generators and Independent Power Producers as procured by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, as well as through import and export; and continue as the trading arm to and from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

“The Energy Regulator approved the Reasons for Decision (RfD) on the assignment of Eskom’s rights and obligations under the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) concluded with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in terms of section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 (Act No. 4 of 2006), to the National Transmission Company of South Africa.

“The Energy Regulator approved that the powers and duties of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd under the section 34 PPAs, be assigned to the NTCSA on March 11, 2024. Eskom applied to Nersa for consent to cede/assign its powers and duties on 21 December, 2023.

“The Energy Regulator approved the issuance of generation licences for the operation of generation facilities utilising Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) technology,” it said.

Board chairperson of the NTCSA Priscillah Mabelane revealed that together with the relevant departments, the entity is embarking on an important journey.

“As we embark on this exciting and critical journey, our commitment is to continue focusing on ensuring safe, reliable, and efficient operations while accelerating the development of an interconnected transmission system in line with our mandate.

“We will ensure non-discriminatory access to the transmission network and seek ways to accelerate the rollout of the transmission grid while fostering transparency and efficiency. Together, we look forward to shaping a dynamic electricity market,’ she said.

Saturday Star

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